After a long winter, spring finally tiptoes in, stirring up heavenly smells, revealing new undergrowth, and awakening sleepy trees.
There are signs of spring everywhere: sprouting blossoms pop here and there like gems in a rough barren ground, yet to be covered with the emerald green grass. Children were so glad to spy these sapphire Hyacinth yearning for the sun during our nature walk. We try to go outside every day, granted the weather cooperates, and we quiet our minds, listen, take deep breaths and be in the now. (The Listening Walk book is an amazing resource to teach children to listen to the environment around them instead of always making noise.)
“There must be [a] provision for the child to have contact with nature, to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in it… so that the child may better understand and participate in the marvelous things which civilization creates. ~ The Secret of Childhood, Dr. Maria Montessori.”
Do you associate SPRING with a certain color? For me, it is yellow (maybe because in our backyard we have mostly Daffodils, Dandelions, and Forsythia bushes). Also, have you tried spelling with nature find? Nature writing makes learning so fun!
Below, I will be sharing our Spring and nature inspired activities, books, and hands-on learning. I hope you will follow along.
A closer look at our Spring Books (top left to right):
- My First Discoveries Series with its transparent pages add a new twist to traditional reading. Trees, Flowers, and Woods and Forest books are a great addition to your spring or botany book collection:
- Trees book (buy here) gracefully explains how nature’s cycle works.
- Flowers book (buy here) will show a child how bees and butterflies settle on spring flowers, how buds blossom and flower into fruit, and how sunflowers turn to face the sun.
- Woods and Forests book (buy here) teaches a young reader about nature, seasons, woods and forests.
- Everything Spring (Picture the Seasons) National Geographic Children’s (buy here) is an amazing beautifully photographed picture book, where young children can see, hear, and feel the warmth of springtime by reading and learning all about chicks, bunnies, and the other baby animals that come out to play in springtime.
- Spring book is a part of Four Seasons Book set (buy here), where each of the books describes the characteristics of one season. Spectacular images of children, plants, and animals in all seasons combine with simple text to demonstrate how seasonal changes affect all life on Earth.
- Cherry Blossoms Say Spring National Geographic Children’s Books (buy here) looks at the life cycle of a cherry tree, the history behind the gift of the Japanese cherry trees to our nation’s capital, and the association of cherry trees and spring. Vibrant scenes from the Cherry Blossom Festival and the flood of visitors to the Tidal Basin are balanced with shots of the natural beauty of these trees.
Through these beautiful overlay pages, a child can see a little seed grow into a mighty tree. Trees book takes a young reader on a journey of a tree, which flowers every year, bearing seeds that will in Autumn fall to the ground, just to grow slowly into more trees.
Flowers book has the most beautiful transparent overlay pages which reveal how buds blossom and flower into fruit; how sunflowers turn to face the sun; how bees and butterflies settle on spring flowers, and how Dandelion: grows from a flower ~ to a bud ~ to a seed.
For more flower books, read here a post about our favorite 🌸Botany 📚Books.
Learning about ❄️🌸🌳🍂Seasons ~ read here about our material and books.
For this 🌼Spring Inspired Montessori Simple ➕ Addition work, you will need two identical bowls representing addends and one perceptually different bowl for the sum. You would emphasize that “plus” + means that we add things (addends) together, and the resulting sum being combined in the third bowl (I chose a red color to emphasize the bowl where addends are added to). Also, offer a child to identify whether the sum is an odd or even number. You can offer traditional Montessori Odd/Even material with wooden dot counters, or use nature finds as counters, visually isolating the “non-paired” counter if any. (For a detailed lesson on Odd and Even, see here a post “🍁Fall-Inspired Odd and Even (Numbers & Counters)” which has links to other Odd/Even lessons.)
We did similar simple addition work during St Patrick’s holidays ~ see here DIY ☘️Shamrock Addition 🔢Counting Activity.
For more on addition, see a 🎥video post here “Montessori Math Simple ➕ Addition using Marble-Counters” which also has an intro What is Montessori Math? For more on math, see here a 🎥 video post “Beginning ➖ Subtraction 🎥 (Montessori 🔢 Math Lesson), and here another 🎥 video post “➕Addition Strip Board (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson).”
You may download the Addition Worksheet PDF here.
We know 🌸SPRING🌱is here since we 👀see and 🎶hear 🐦 birds everywhere! So, today, we are doing 🔢simple ➕addition with our ✂️DIY 🐦Bird 🌳Forest Habitat we made with ♻️recycled 🚽 toilet and paper towel rolls and moss we have gathered during our nature walks. 🔢Math can be very 🙈mundane, so diversifying the activity with themed unit studies always does the trick! Check out here the 📃blog post on how we ✂️made our 🐦Birds 🌳Forest Habitat DIY ♻️Recycled 🚽Toilet Paper Craft with 🔢Math Twist. We are using these wooden numerals for Numerical Rods.
See here 🐦Spring Themed Numbers Activity (4 = 🐣🐣🐣🐣).
“S” is for Spring!
We are using Montessori Movable Alphabet to spell out “spring.” Buy here Montessori Small Wooden Movable Alphabet with a box or here without the box. Note how in Montessori Language curriculum, vowels are blue, while consonants are red.
How about spelling with dandelions! See here “Letter “S” ( 🔠 Letter Series).”
“N” is for 🌼nature, 🐦nest, 🔨 nail, 🌌Neptune, 😴 nap, napkin, 👃🏻 nose, nut, necklace, 💰nickel ….. Also, 🐋🗡narwhal, 💅🏻 nail polish, 🏥nurse, 🔢number, 9️⃣, 19, net, 🌃night, 📢noise, name, 📿nun, neuron, newspaper, 🎅🏻 north, 📝note, nutmeg, and 🌎🇳🇴 Norway, Nebraska, 🇳🇮 Nicaragua …
Make alphabet exploration hands-on by offering various sensory and creative ways to “make” and trace letters! For example, make a letter from nature finds, such as 🌼flowers growing in your backyard. Here, Adrian made the letter “n” from yellow Forsythia flowers (all you need is a glue and a pink cardstock to represent a consonant letter according to Montessori Language curriculum). Also, offer to stamp the letter while learning proper tracing direction (we are using thankful woodblock stamp set and rainbow ink-pads.) And how about tracing the letter withing colorful dot stickers or make the letter from magnetic puzzle Alphabet pieces (see here). See more Letter Exploration here in a post~ 🔠Letter Series (Montessori Language).
d ~ dog, w ~whale, e ~elephant, n ~ nest
In a Montessori language curriculum, alphabet letters are not first presented to a child in an alphabetical order like A, B, C, D etc. The idea is to introduce the letters phonetically (the way they sound) rather than by their name, and phonetical grouping of certain consonants and vowels had proven to be very effective in allowing children to form quickly as many words as possible. There are few orders suggested and we are using following the order suggested in How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin (buy the book here ~ this book is a Montessori -beginner-must-have-book.)
First set: c m a t (see here)
Second set: s r i p (see here)
Third set: b f o g (see here)
Fourth set: h j u l (see here)
Fifth set: d w e n (above)
We are using a traditional Montessori wooden Movable Alphabet (buy here) with vowels represented by blue color, while consonants by red color. You can also use Sandpaper letters (buy the upper case here or a bundle here or here). Sandpaper letters are very easy to make at home too (see here a ✂️DIY 📽 on how we made sandpaper 🔢 numbers). Lastly, you may use any letters: foam, paper or wooden ones you have on hand to introduce these phonetical sets: no specialized Montessori materials are required.
For more on our Language curriculum and the Phonetical order sets, read here the introductory post: “Montessori Phonetical Order of presenting ABCs Alphabet letters.”
See here Our 🌸Spring Inspired Learning Space.
See here 💐Mothers Day 🎁Flowers ✂️DIY 🌼Daffodil Bouquet Tissue Paper Craft.
See here 🌸Spring Hyacinth Flower ♻️Recycled ✂️Craft.
We also make Hyacinths with posted notes, which is much easier for little ones.
See here 💐Mother’s Day Kids Activities
See here 🐝Goldenrod 🌼Flower DIY Craft Process Art • Oatmeal & Salt 🖌Painting
This 💐bouquet of flowers can be a perfect 💞Mother’s Day or a 🎉Birthday 🎁 Gift (👧🏻Julia and 👦🏼Adrian made these 💐flowers for Daddy’s Birthday Day this week). This craft is very simple: all you need is tissue paper and pipe cleaners. We also noted a bead in the middle of the flower to resemble a”male” or pollen-bearing part called the stamen. Adrian made a very similar 🌻 flower craft when he was 3 yo ~ ✂️🔸📌poke 🔸slide 🔸🌼crunch ~ see here how he made it in a post ” 🎨Van Gogh Inspired 12 🌻Sunflowers Tissue Paper ♻️ Cardboard Roll Paper Mache ✂️Craft.”
🌼Spring 🍲 soup! If you need an hour of your kids being completely engulfed in a sensory play, then you must make it! 💦 water + glitter always do the trick! Top it with seasonal flowers, offer a soup ladle and a bowl.
This can also be an opportunity to discuss parts of the flower. Botany lesson is coming up!
Who said 🐣eggs are just for Easter? 😉How about a 💜PURPLE sensory bin🙌🏻Just collet things around the 🏡house (marbles, Pom poms, feathers, 🌸~ choose different textures) and 🙈hide them in 💜eggs! Once the child opens all the eggs and finds all the 💜treasures, make a 📝chart and offer your child to 🔢count and ✍🏻️write down how many of each there are! For more sensorial activities, see here Sensorial 🖐️👀👂👅👃 Activities 101 🎥 Series 🎇. Van Gogh Inspired 12 🌻Sunflowers Tissue Paper ♻️ Cardboard Roll Paper Mache ✂️Craft.”
See here 🐦 🌿Spring-Inspired 🐞Counters & 🔢Numbers Sensory Bin.
See here a 📽video 👣Feet 🐣Egg Transferring 🌈Color Matching 💪🏻Gross Motor Game.
BOTANY & ZOOLOGY
See here Invitation To 🌾🌿 Create a Nest • 🐦Bird Unit Study
“A seed is generous: it gives the baby plant, or embryo, a seed coat to keep it warm.” See here 🌱🌼Botany Unit Study.
See here Seeds to Plants Matching Activity, referring to the same amazing book.
See here our 🐝Bees Unit Study.
Cherry trees cannot self-pollinate, so we need bees to do their important job of pollinators.
See here Learning About 🌿 Leaves (Botany 🌸🌳 Lesson).
From two fox kits climbing on logs to an adorable baby bunny to a trio of polar bears huddling close to stay warm, these pictures are simply fascinating! See here My First Book 📘 of Baby 🐥 Animals.
Spring brings babies to the barnyard, and we are weighing our baby animals.
SCIENCE See here a video post “Soft Shelled 🏐Bouncy Raw 🐣Egg Kids 🔬⚗️⚖️ Science 101 🎥 Series 🎇.”
🌸Spring Inspired 📚Books
Anja’s adventure takes place against a backdrop of breathtaking Scandinavian mountains.
“It was spring, and the snow had melted in all but the highest places, so Anja reluctantly put her skies away…”
Caring for plants is part of caring for the environment, which offers a child a wonderful opportunity to develop responsibility, discipline, and most importantly, affection for nature.
“There must be [a] provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.” ~ Dr. Maria Montessori.
“Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature.” ~Richard Louv
Children are [very] attracted by plants. One Children’s House did not have any land that could be tilled, so flower pots were set out all around a large terrace. The children never forgot to water the plants with a little watering can. One morning I found them all seated in a circle on the floor around a magnificent red rose that had opened up during the night. They were silent and peaceful, completely absorbed in contemplation. ~ Montessori M. (1967) The Discovery of the Child. NY: Ballantine Books. pp 71-72.
“Children have an anxious concern for living beings, and the satisfaction of this instinct fills them with delight. It is therefore easy to interest them in taking care of plants … Nothing awakens foresight in a small child, who lives as a rule for the passing moment and without care for the tomorrow, so much as this. When he knows that … little plants will dry up if he does not water them, he binds together with a new thread of love today’s passing moments with those of the tomorrow.” Montessori M. (1967) The Discovery of the Child. NY: Ballantine Books. pp 71-72.
From a flower spike to full blooming orchids!
See here 💦Caring for 🌺Orchids at 3 Yo • Montessori 🙌🏻Practical Life Activity • Care of the 🌐Environment.
For Earth Day inspired activities, see here Earth Day 🌐 Activities Roundup.
For Easter hands-on fun, see here 🐣Easter 🐰Inspired Themed Unit Study
From the very beginning, it is crucial to establish a link between a child and nature. And we can do so by becoming aware of the importance of nature in our own lives and subsequently sharing this wonderful world of miracles with our children.
We observe warm breeze making daffodils take a bow.
From a distance, craggy branches of Cherry Blossom trees are lost in billowing clouds of snowy white and pink blooms. However, as you come closer, some branches sweep low, showering us with the sweet aroma of blossoms.
“When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.” The Discovery of the Child ~ Maria Montessori.
Spring urges seedlings in gardens and rolling farmland to reach for the warmth. Gracious vines fluff up with emerald shoots.
Pink blossoms cover the naked tree yet to be embraced by the greenery of leaves.
Wishing everyone a happy, colorful and warm Spring!